The NewsDemon Blog

Microsoft Newsgroups: Windows 7 Party

By Newsgroup Usenet September 4th, 2009

Windows 7 Pary

Windows 7 gets by with a little help from it’s friends. Microsoft has announced in all of its operating system related newsgroups that they are giving away a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate Signature Edition to party hosts.

Microsoft is not letting just anyone host such a party though. The company is being very selective in the application process it has set up with HouseParty.com.

USENET newsgroups report that the offer is only open to residents of 12 countries: Australia, Italy, Canada, Japan, Mexico, France, Spain, Germany, the US, Hong Kong, the UK, and India.

A “Windows 7 Party Pack” that includes Host Help Videos, Host Notes, and other materials to make your Launch Party fun is included if selected.

Every host also has a chance to win a PC worth $750.00, according to the Web site. Winners will be notified and their prizes delivered after Oct. 30.

The house parties are set to run between October 22 and 29.



Newsgroup Spotlight: Internet Newsgroups Revisited

By Newsgroup Usenet September 2nd, 2009

internetnewsgroups

Precisely forty years ago on September 2, Leonard Kleinrock and some other associates started testing a system that would eventually become the worldwide network we know as the internet today.

Revisiting World Wide Web newsgroups, we spotlight on the history of the internet in celebration of its 40th birthday.

On September 2, 1969, two computers send out test data at Kleinrock’s lab at the University of California, Los Angeles. That was the humble beginning of what was originally called the ‘ARPANET‘ network — a government-supported data network that would use the technology which by then had come to be known as “packet switching.”

From this point on DARPA and ARPANET became the biological manufacturing parents of the internet and are two of the most important acronyms pertaining to the internet.

(DARPA) is the central research and development office for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) otherwise referred to as The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The ARPANET is the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network that was created by (ARPA) and it is essentially the predecessor of the global Internet.

It would be 10 years later that the USENET would come to be utilizing the ARPANET. It would be the USENET that would bring the masses online. With the introduction of newsgroups, a new online word of discussion groups arose.

Later, in 1991, Tim Berners-Lee used the USENET to announce the foundation of what we know the Word Wide Web to be today.

Tthe continuing growth of the internet community forced an expansion of its development and use. As time passed and as the popularity of the Internet grew, competition eventually made the internet  more accessible and its availability even more widespread.

Len Kleinrock and his team never imagined the spread of all of the Internet trends and fads that would follow. But since using the World Wide Web became commonplace among average people, the medium has quickly evolved and gone through several different stages.

Contrary to claims once made by Al Gore, it was not invented by him.

Coincidently, the first domain name ever registered was sold on August 31st of this year.

On March 15, 1985, the Internet officially became active with the registration and use of the Symbolics.com domain name.

Said to be the oldest on the web, it has remained the property of its original owner since then. Symbolics.com was bought by XF.com Investments, which said it was “excited” about the purchase.

The address was registered by computer manufacturer Symbolics in March 1985, months before rivals Hewlett-Packard, Intel and Sun Microsystems swooped to secure their own presence on the nascent web.

Nearly 25 years later, over 180,000,000 registered domains are currently in use.



Verizon Announces Newsgroup Service To Be Discontinued

By Newsgroup Usenet September 1st, 2009

verizon-usenet-newsgroups

Verizon has begun to notify customers informing them that newsgroup service provided by the company will cease by September 30th.

Verizon had late last year discontinued access to a number of newsgroups. Many have speculated that this termination of service was imminent. Customers will continue to have access to post or view articles on the Verizon USENET newsgroup service until the termination date.

NewsDemon.com Newsgroups is offering a 20% discount to all Verizon customers. Simply copy the coupon code below at checkout for any of our subscription based plans.

Coupon Code: hearmenow

NewsDemon.com Newsgroups welcomes all Verizon customers who wish to continue to gain access to valuable resources available on USENET newsgroups. The discount is valid for the lifetime of the subscription.

Earlier this year, Comcast, Time Warner and AT&T had also discontinued USENET access. As maintenance costs rises for supporting USENET newsgroups, many internet service providers have opted to drop access for its customers.



Marvel And Disney Merger Creates Debate On Animation Newsgroups

By Newsgroup Usenet August 31st, 2009

Disney Marvel Newsgroups

Today, Walt Disney unveiled a surprise four billion US dollar bid for Marvel Entertainment, and paving the way for Iron Man, Spider-Man and Captain America to be united with Mickey Mouse and The Jonas Brothers.

Animation newsgroups were woken up to news that under this new deal, Disney will acquire more than 5,000 Marvel characters as well as several multi-million-dollar movie franchises. In return, Marvel gets the distribution heft of the world’s No. 2 media company. Films starring Marvel characters including Wolverine, Spider-man 3 and Iron Man are among the highest-grossing at the box office every summer.

Many on these USENET newsgroups consider this to be a game changer for Disney’s foes. Marvel’s rival DC Comics; with its stable of Batman, Watchmen and other, darker comic champions, is already a part of Time Warner. For the fantastic leap comic books have made to the big screen, this could be the last hurrah.

However, theme-park rival Universal Orlando will likely retain the park rights to its four Marvel superstars, including Spider-Man and the Incredible Hulk.

“Marvel Super Hero Island at Universal’s Islands of Adventure and the Marvel characters are a beloved and important part of the Universal Orlando experience. They will remain so,” said Tom Schroder, a Universal spokesman. “Our guests are going to get to meet Spider-Man and all our other Marvel characters. We believe our agreement with Marvel stands and that the Disney/Marvel deal will have no impact on our guest experience.”

Many on these newsgroups have mixed feelings over the merger. Much in the same way when Time Warner had acquired the DC franchise, many wonder how the landscape will change for their mighty heroes.



Newsgroup Spotlight: Apple and Mac Newsgroups

By Newsgroup Usenet August 27th, 2009

apple-newsgroups

With recent news of the new operating system from Apple, Snow Leopard, many on newsgroups are pinning it against the awaited Windows 7.

Considering that Snow Leopard is more of an update to the current Mac OS, it seems uneven to compare an updated OS release to a full fledged OS modification as Windows 7 presents itself.

This is just one of the current topics of debate you’ll find on Apple newsgroups. These newsgroups have had a long history on USENET and have provided one of the first forms of online communication between mac users.

The general newsgroup for Apple users, comp.sys.mac, has long been centered around the different Operating Systems that Apple has released. Others relating to Apple Hardware, Graphics and Portable Devices have had their own unique communities and topics.

As the generation of Apple has grown, so have the related newsgroups. Since the release of the iPod and iPhone by Apple, a multitude of newsgroups relating to each have remained active in tandem with each of their products popularity.

For over twenty years, Apple newsgroups have made a connection between users to share, discuss and educate each other on Apple related products and continue to pioneer news and information regarding upcoming Apple technologies.



64-Bit USENET Newsgroup Newsreaders Now Possible With Snow Leopard

By Newsgroup Usenet August 24th, 2009

snow-leopardAfter taking down the site for a few minutes, Apple brought it back up today  and announced that Mac OS X version 10.6, known as Snow Leopard, will go on sale this Friday, August 28 at Apple’s retail stores.

Apple has stated that Snow Leopard would predominantly be about streamlining both the size and speed of the OS. Installing Snow Leopard should take about half the time of performing a Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard install, and it’s expected that you’ll gain about 7 GB of space back on your hard disk.

The main point of the new release seems to be speed. Apple claims that the installation of the system now hogs up to 6GB less hard drive space, while fine tuning should see all users of Intel Macs noticing performance improvements right across the board.

The under-the-hood improvements that Apple has made to the new OS boasts of faster times for everything from installation to waking the computer from sleep to system shutdown. This could represent a boost in accessing USENET newsgroups.

A single user version of Snow Leopard will be available as an upgrade from Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard for $29, a family-pack version that’s licensed for up to five Macs within a household will cost $49, and an updated Mac Box Set, which will include Snow Leopard, iLife ’09, and iWork ’09 will cost $169.

Looking at it historically, pricing is surprisingly low for an Apple product, fueling fire that this may be an attempt to be more aggressive in its competition with Microsoft. Windows 7 is slated to be released in October.

Additionally, it may reflect the new system’s relative lack of new features. Apple’s own website doesn’t pull any punches, trumpeting Snow Leopard’s arrival with the headline: “The all-new, exactly-the-same Finder”.

The most popular newsreaders for the Mac, Panic Unison and BinBot, seem to be unaffected by this upgrade. However, users may experience a slight performance boost due to these new upgraded features.



Newsgroup Spotlight: Creating Big-8 Newsgroups

By Newsgroup Usenet August 19th, 2009

big-8-usenet-newsgroupsOver the past few months, we’ve covered a number of USENET newsgroups that cover a variety of different topics. But what if you wanted to create a newsgroup on your own?

The first thing you would need to do is check and see if the newsgroup already exists. Most newsreaders allow a search function that can search the thousands of USENET newsgroups available, and by the keyword you search for, return the results of any groups that may be similar to the one you’re looking to create.

Do as much research as possible and search the internet as well to any reference of a newsgroup similar to the one you are looking to create.

Second, visit the newsgroup, news.groups.proposals. Read through the discussions and craft a message to the newsgroup with your request with an RFD Proposal.  Example of formatting here

Determining if you prefer an ALT or a BIG-8 Newsgroup is your next step while you wait for your response.

Generally, newsgroups that start with “alt.*” are usually unmanaged and may not need to follow any preset requirements. The Big-8 on the other hand, is governed by a management board and have a selection of them.

We’ve compiled the requirements to make it simpler in an easy to use guide on creating a newsgroup in the Big-8. This will get you started in creating a proper newsgroup.

We’ll be including another guide soon regarding creating ALT newsgroups as well.



Microsoft Newsgroups: IE8 Safest Browser According To Lab Results

By Newsgroup Usenet August 17th, 2009

BrowsersThose who made the upgrade to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8 will be pleased to learn that the browser has proven to be the most effective at blocking malware, following a recent study by NSS Labs. However, some experts question the validity of the results.

Internet Explorer 8 blocked about four out of every five sites that attempt to trick visitors into downloading malicious software in browser security tests performed by NSS Labs, according to a report released yesterday.

Microsoft on Thursday released NSS Labs research on several of its own newsgroups indicating that IE 8 excels at blocking phishing and malware attacks. These newsgroup posts reveal that in Microsoft-sponsored testing at a Texas lab, NSS found that IE 8 and an open-source Firefox browser from Mozilla tied for first place when it came to catching “social-engineering” phishing attacks.

“We’ve spent quite a bit of time talking about the socially engineered malware threat because it is currently the biggest problem users face. However, phishing remains a prevalent and important threat to users as well. We’re continuously making improvements to our data sources and intelligence systems that deliver phishing protection. This continuous investment keeps IE in the market-leading position it established with the release of the Phishing Filter in IE7. Since then, Internet Explorer 7 and 8 have blocked over 125 million phishing attacks,” said Eric Lawrence, IE PM

NSS tested a total of five Windows-based browsers including: IE8, Firefox 3.0.11, Safari 4.0.2, Chrome 2.0.0.172.33 and Opera 10 beta. The browsers were to defend their users against more than 2,100 malware sites in 69 tests run over a 12-day period.

Mozilla’s Firefox 3.0, was able to catch just 27% of the same infected sites. Apple’s Safari 4.0 blocked out 21% of the corrupt online destinations, while Google’s Chrome 2.0 was good for a 7% total. Opera Software’s browser provided the most dismal figure, identifying just 1% of the infected sites.

The tests did not include sites that use hidden exploits and drive-by-download attacks to attempt to install malware without your ever having a chance to recognize an attack.



Newsgroup Spotlight: Real Estate and Housing Newsgroups

By Newsgroup Usenet August 12th, 2009

real-estate-housing

For those in the Real Estate industry, USENET newsgroups have long been an indispensable resource. Real Estate and Housing newsgroups are places where like-minded individuals gather to swap information and advice.

USENET newsgroups are broken into sub topics related to the different aspects associated with the Real Estate and the Housing markets covering much of the world. Housing Newsgroups have long existed for those people who are interested in buying real estate, discussing the buying process, picking a home, finding services, finding information about foreclosures, short sales, mortgages, and much more.

USENET newsgroups offer hundreds of real estate articles and guides on how to get started in Real Estate – whatever the role.

With dozens of different newsgroups to choose from, anything and everything you want to know about the Real Estate profession and Housing can be found on newsgroups. No other online source comes close to providing the same high level of information than what USENET newsgroups have to offer.

All aspects of Real Estate are covered on USENET – from Interior Design Newsgroups to Home Ownership Discussion Groups.

As the housing market becomes a center point of America’s attention recently, a number of housing related newsgroups have experienced a huge spike of new subscribers. Looking for answers on a variety of aspects of Real Estate, USENET again remains a necessity for many to stay informed.



Newsgroups Report Latest Twitter Fail Due To DDoS Attack

By Newsgroup Usenet August 10th, 2009

Twitter FailLate last week was not a pleasant one for many Twitter users as the site was hit by a massive DDos attack which made sure the site went down for at least a couple of hours. It did come back up though. However, many newsgroup discussions are around how Twitter just hasn’t felt the same ever since it’s been back up.
The service was unavailable for hours last Thursday and was not running smoothly Friday.

The attack seems to have been a politically motivated one where the attacker wanted to silence a user from Georgia who was using popular social networking sites
as a base to voice his issues. The massive cyber attack against the Georgian blogger that caused a global knockout of Twitter slowed several other popular web sites; Facebook and LiveJournal

While the intention might have been to “silence” one user, it had resulted in Twitter being rendered unusable. Some USENET newsgroups represent the first examples of how messy flame wars could get. Some of the most historic flame wars were created by some of the first to join the USENET. However, due to the way that USENET works, the entire network could not have been affected by a DDoS attack as it was with Twitter.

“I am not happy that [my] blogs were attacked,” said the blogger, speaking on his cell phone from outside the Georgian capital of Tbilisi. “But it is good that I get famous. I think Obama knows about me, because he likes Internet news.”

Giorgy said he was surprised and dismayed that the attack had brought down Twitter all over the world.

Facebook said Friday that the bloggers pages at Facebook and LiveJournal were targeted in the attack. It said it had isolated the trouble and that service for its more than 250 million users had returned to normal.

Just like USENET newsgroups, millions of people have come to rely on Twitter and the like to express their innermost thoughts and to keep up with world news and celebrity gossip. An estimated 10 million people around the world use Twitter, while Facebook has around 250 million active members. Normal service has been restored to all sites in the days following the cyber attacks.